I admit, I tend to skeptical of anything that has even the slightest scent of feel-good pop psychology.
A few years back, I stumbled across a thread on a pen forum I occasionally frequent wherein people were sharing “three good things” from their days. Many stopped by every evening to share the good moments from their days. Mentally, I scoffed. Silliness, I thought. People just patting themselves on the back, or whistling in the dark. Meaningless.
But even amidst my scoffing, I filed it away. I supposed the idea might be worth saving for those days when I was desperate to write something, but had nothing. It’d give me something to scribble on paper. Something to think about.
During one of those dry spells, I started taking a few minutes before bed to think back over my day, good and bad, and write down my three good things. To my surprise, I found I could winkle out a few bright moments even in the days I’d felt most useless, most downtrodden, most sad. Maybe it was something as simple as an e-mail from a friend, or as God-sent as a rainbow. Maybe it was a particularly good chapter in a book.
Some days, the good things were mostly the bad things I survived: the near-accident on the way home that didn’t happen, the catastrophe at work that could have been worse, locking myself out on a day when the landlord was not three states away.
Maybe looking back at days this way is a little feel-goody. Maybe it’s as silly as I once thought it. But I’ve found it changes my whole mindset. I’m more likely to notice little moments of joy and beauty, more likely to shrug off the darker moments, or see the silver linings in my clouds.
In the old days, they might have called it “counting your blessings.”
I’m a believer.